Giants

Giants' Farhan Zaidi explains why Joey Bart was assigned to minors camp

Giants' Farhan Zaidi explains why Joey Bart was assigned to minors camp

Even top prospects fall victim to spring-training cuts. It's no different for Joey Bart.

The Giants reassigned the promising catcher to minor league camp on Tuesday in a move that appears to be a surprise but ultimately wasn't.

“Frankly, we didn’t see him making the Opening Day roster, and it was a possibility to send him out in the first wave [of cuts],” president of baseball operations Farhan Zaidi told reporters via The San Francisco Chronicle. “It’s really a testament to the work he did. He earned the right to stay a little beyond that first round.”

Heading into Tuesday's game against the Chicago Cubs in Scottsdale, the 23-year-old batted .438 with two home runs in nine games. Those of you reading could be split as to whether these numbers matter, but he still is one of the guys behind Buster Posey. Another factor to consider is the fact that minor league games begin Tuesday as well. 

Zaidi said for the time being Bart will prepare on the minor league side. He wasn't specific as to which level Bart would start in the upcoming season, but the mission is to have him in the bigs at some point in 2020.

“That’s his expectation, for sure,” Zaidi said. “That’s a reasonable goal for him and for us.”

[RELATED: Farhan doesn't regret keeping MadBum at deadline]

Zaidi has value in the younger players that are part of one of the most improved farm systems over the last season. That's an achievement he's quite proud of and a message he has preached since coming to the team in November 2018.

Across High-A and Double-A last season, Bart slashed .278/.328/.495 with 16 home runs. He'll more than likely get an offensive boost batting in the Pacific Coast League when he makes it to Triple-A, then perhaps Giants fans will get to see him in the later months. 

Ex-Giant Javier Lopez recalls vivid details about facing Barry Bonds

Ex-Giant Javier Lopez recalls vivid details about facing Barry Bonds

It took more than a decade, but in 2015, Chase Utley finally got a hit off of Javier Lopez. In their 24th matchup, Utley hit a ball off Lopez's spikes and it rolled into left field, allowing Utley to reach second.

"He asked me to sign the ball while he was staring at me at second base," Lopez said. "We had a little laugh about it."

Their first matchup came all the way back in 2004, when Utley was with the Phillies and Lopez was in his second big-league season with the Rockies. Utley hit into a double play, and it never got any easier. He finished his career with one hit in 23 at-bats against Lopez, with 13 of those outs coming on the ground.

On this week's Giants Insider Podcast, Lopez said Utley was his favorite matchup among contemporaries. But over his entire career, the moment that really stood out in a left-on-left matchup came against a fellow Giant. Lopez soaked up Barry Bonds highlights while coming through the minors and got to face Bonds in his second month in the big leagues. 

Former Giant Bobby Estalella -- Lopez said the massive catcher's nickname was Chestalella -- was behind the plate for the Rockies and came running out to the mound when Bonds walked up. 

"I think he could tell my heart was beating through my jersey. He was like, 'Alright, calm down, just stay with me the entire time. We're going to throw breaking balls, the slower the better, because he cannot stay back. He's a tremendous hitter but he struggles with that pitch,'" Lopez recalled. "I was like, 'Whatever you put down I'm going to throw.' I remember I threw a fastball and they called it a ball and I'm walking back to the mound, I lick my fingers, I'm rubbing the ball, and Barry Bonds has not left the box. That was his thing, standing in there and just kind of wiggling his bat. I was like, 'Oh boy, here we go.'"

Lopez threw a couple of sliders and got a strike Bonds didn't like. Then he tried a fastball up-and-in and watched as Bonds pulled a missile foul. First baseman Todd Helton looked at him with a clear signal in his eyes: Don't throw that pitch again. Lopez went back to his sweeping breaking ball and Bonds swung through it and headed back to the dugout. Lopez watched him go. 

"I'm staring at Barry Bonds not because I'm some cool stud," he said. "I'm just like, 'That's Barry Bonds and I just got him out."

They faced off nine more times before Bonds retired, with the home run king picking up a double and two singles, but no bombs. Lopez struck Bonds out three times overall, something that naturally came up years later when they were both affiliated with the Giants. He recalled telling Bonds he had punched him out three times. Bonds asked how many times he homered and was told it never happened. 

"That's because you threw that sidearm cheating stuff," he replied. 

Lopez had his own legendary Giants career and is now one of the team's broadcasters. Bonds works for the team as an advisor and spends time with players in spring training. Lopez said the two still laugh about their matchups whenever they get together. 

[RELATED: Latest MLB proposal would have big impact on Giants veterans]

"He's such a great player," Lopez said. "Just to know that he's a small chapter in my book, my strikeout book -- it's a very short book -- but it's nice that he's got a page in it."

For more from Lopez on his big league memories, the current MLB proposal to the Players Association and his excellent walk-up songs, you can download the Giants Insider Podcast here or stream it here: 

[GIANTS INSIDER PODCAST: Listen to the latest episode]

Field to Table: Garlic fries recipe for making Oracle Park treat from home

Field to Table: Garlic fries recipe for making Oracle Park treat from home

There's nothing like the smell of garlic fries that greets you when you walk into Oracle Park.

With Giants baseball on indefinite hiatus due to the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, what better way to pass the time than make garlic fries at home?

NBC Sports Bay Area has teamed up with Wine.com to create the "Field to Table" cooking show, where we'll attempt to cook our favorite ballpark treats from home.

Giants studio host Kelli Johnson, Giants insider Alex Pavlovic and "Shelter on Base/Triples Alley" member Anthony Garcia all attempt to make the Oracle Park delicacy from scratch in the debut show of "Field to Table."

Check out the video above for the recipe and to see their cooking skills on display.

Receive $25 off a $100-or-more order on Wine.com by using the promo code "NBCSPORTS"